Wisconsin man indicted for $35 million bank fraud scheme


Date: November 29, 2022

Contact: newsroom@ci.irs.gov

MINNEAPOLIS — A Wisconsin man has been indicted for orchestrating a $35 million bank fraud scheme, announced U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger.

According to court documents, between 2020 and August 2022, Matthew Thomas Onofrio, of Eau Claire, devised and executed a scheme to defraud multiple federally-insured banks including MidCountry Bank headquartered in Bloomington. As part of his scheme, Onofrio operated a business entity called Northwoods Management LLC which he used to market a real estate investing program for investors to acquire commercial properties. Onofrio allegedly engaged in several fraudulent acts as part of the scheme, including causing false information to be submitted to lenders financing investors' real estate purchases and altering purchase agreements to support higher appraisals of the properties. According to the indictment, Onofrio withheld information from the lenders, including the fact that he was lending money to the investors to help them purchase the properties and would temporarily wire funds to investors' accounts to create the appearance that they had more available assets than they in fact had. The charges seek forfeiture of more than $35 million seized in the investigation.

Onofrio is charged with three counts of bank fraud. On November 23, 2022, Onofrio made his initial appearance in U.S. District Court before Magistrate Judge Tony N. Leung.

This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the IRS, the FBI, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation – Office of Inspector General.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert M. Lewis.

An indictment is merely an allegation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.